A church that doesn’t provoke…

A church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed – what gospel is that? Very nice, pious considerations that don’t bother anyone, that’s the way many would like preaching to be. Those preachers who avoid every thorny matter so as not to be harassed, so as not to have conflicts and difficulties, do not light up the world they live in.

~Archbishop Oscar Romero, via Pax Christi USA

Did they see me today or did they see Jesus today?

Go through each thing with Jesus, every encounter you had with a person or on the phone and ask yourself this question, “Did they see me today or did they see Jesus today?” If the answer is that they saw me, then there is still a lot that needs to be repented. People are supposed to be looking and seeing Jesus in my life. So I need to ask if I’m pushing myself, and my ideas, or am I pushing Jesus and His ideas?

Fr. Larry Richards, Surrender! The Life Changing Power of Doing God’s Will

Religion isn’t…

Religion isn’t something we tack on to life like a crumbling doily, in other words: religion suffuses life, drives life, sets life on fire. “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” said Christ (Lk. 12:49). “Religion consists of the belief that everything that happens to us is extraordinarily important. It can never disappear from the world for this reason,” noted the Italian poet (and suicide) Cesare Pavese.

~Heather King, Shirt of Flame: A Year with Saint Therese of Lisieux

The immature, fretful craving to have things the way we want them…

This movement from the immature, fretful craving to have things the way we want them, to the way that is patient, cheerful, nonobtrusive, and oriented toward others, is a true death: the death of our egos, the death of our identities as people who respond—can only respond—a certain way. Grace is needed, to be sure, but preparing the ground for continuing grace requires prayer, meditation, and consenting to the long, hard work of pruning our will in such a way that we are open to maturity.

~Heather King, Shirt of Flame: A Year with Saint Therese of Lisieux

We must not become angry for any reason whatsoever…

The final cure for this sickness is to realize that we must not become angry for any reason whatsoever, whether just or unjust. When the demon of anger has darkened our mind, we are left neither with the light of discrimination, nor the assurance of true judgment, nor the guidance of righteousness, and our soul cannot become the temple of the Holy Spirit. Finally, we should always bear in mind our own ignorance of the time of our death, keeping ourselves from anger and recognizing that neither self-restraint nor the renunciation of all material things, nor fasting and vigils, are of any benefit if we are found guilty at the last judgment because we are the slaves of anger and hatred.

~St John Cassian

To do violence to his own inclinations…

But let no one suppose it possible to form true Christian virtues, and to serve God as he ought, unless he is ready in good earnest to do violence to his own inclinations, and to endure the pain of giving up all the things which pleased him, both great and small, and to which he had clung with earthly affection.

~Lorenzo Scupoli, The Spiritual Combat